Normally I get a runner’s high from seeing my short stories in print. But this morning when I first saw “Believe” up on the Silver Blade ezine website, what stunned me was the artwork. Something I can take no credit whatsoever for (author’s take pot luck on art) but in this case the art is sensational. Check out in particular the last picture, all the way to the bottom.
Oh, and the story is also one of my favorites. And it set the record for quick sale. Two hours and change after I had submitted it to Silver Blade, I received an acceptance email back. When I inquired about the speed of response, the editor replied: “It’s certainly not typical. But I figured if I was weeping, though I don’t believe in angels and am not sure what to make of ghosts (given that friends I know to be sane say they’ve seen them) then why delay?”
As to the story, “Believe” was originally a denouement for a work in progress novel, Gho, about a girl who is murdered and comes back as a ghost. My first novel, it’s never seen the light of day, although I’m still working on it, in novella form. But it’s been a goldmine for spinning off short stories. Besides “Believe,” I crafted some back story into “Along Sand Creek,” spun out two stories on Granny Hooper (“The Last Ghost of the War” and “The Confederate Cavalryman’s Saber“) and another, my first published short story ever, on Nishi (“Walking with Great Uncle,” with cameo appearances by pre dead Hildi and Granny).
It had been snowing hard all day, stopping only well after nightfall. The snow was nearly moisture free in midwinter, stubbornly refusing to stick to the tree limbs, falling through to embrace the frozen earth. Nishi sat behind the wheel of her grime-encrusted Volkswagen, pulling her oversized men’s parka on with her gloved hands. Her mane of red hair, unruly on a good day, had frizzed badly in the single-digit humidity. She glanced to the empty passenger’s seat and managed a hopeful smile.
“It will work,” she said, as she opened the door to the sub arctic cold and unnatural stillness that accompanied the tail end of a Colorado blizzard.
Enjoy. Especially the artwork.